What are your thoughts on selling hand-me-downs? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been blessed to have some generous friends share their hand-me-downs with me and my children over the years. I've got a pretty hard rule for myself that I always return the favor (or pay it forward) and pass down my things to those who can use them.  I have NEVER sold anything that was given to me as a hand-me-down.  

 

I recently learned that someone with whom I shared a stash of diapers with sold them for a pretty decent sum of money. I gave the diapers to my friend without the expectation of getting them back. I shouldn't care what she does with them once I've given them to her but it does make me feel miffed knowing that she profited from the items I gave her. 

 

I've been thinking hard about this for a few days. I know that I would never sell a hand-me-down. If I thought that an item still had monetary value I would return it to the original owner.   I also realize that by passing an item along I am relinquishing ownership and can't really dictate what the new owner does with it. I wouldn't be upset if she sold something I had given her that was brand new, so why am I upset that she sold something I gave to her used?

 

I don't know....I don't want to be upset or annoyed at my friend...but I kind of am...I just need to talk it out.

 

What do you guys think?

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#2 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 07:53 AM
 
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I don't sell stuff in general once I'm through with it -- I donate pretty much everything. With hand me downs, I ask right when the person gives it to me if they'd like it back when I'm through, and if they say no I donate it along with my own donations when I'm through with it.

Since I don't sell stuff, I don't think I'd be annoyed if a friend were to sell hand me downs I gave her when she was through with them. I wouldn't have been expecting to profit from it anyway, and when I tell friends to pass my stuff along once they're done, it's because I don't want the hassle of finding a home for the item again. So I wouldn't care if they donated it or sold it, as long as I didn't have to mess with it again.

That said, I don't think it's unreasonable for you to be mildly surprised to discover that your friend sold your hand-me-downs. It sounds, though, like you have the right idea, realizing that she didn't really do anything wrong.

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#3 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 08:48 AM
 
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I had the exact same thing happen to me years ago, and it bugged me. And I'm not sure why because while I've been comfortable just passing things along, I really don't know how her finances were and if she really needed the money.

For me, I really like just letting things flow and trusting that if I freely let go of what I no longer need, my family will
get that energy back in a form that is more useable to us. It bugged me that she didn't feel the same. So I let it go.

But that was years ago and I haven't forgotten it , which isn't a good sign!
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#4 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 09:29 AM
 
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That has happened to me too and it bugs me...i dont think it is okay at all. I would not give her anything in he future. We have been given many handmedowns and always always regive them, never sell.
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#5 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 10:10 AM
 
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My tendency is to want to regift or donate anything given to me. But money is really tight so I will sell things to help make ends meet. If someone were to gift me clothes for ds but he really needed new shoes, I would sell the clothes to buy shoes.


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#6 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 10:32 AM
 
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You know, if someone posted that a friend who was fine financially had passed along used things to her,saying that she didn't want them back, and the poster who was given the things had used them but now wanted to sell them to buy something else her child needed, most of us would think it was OK.

 

Wouldn't we?
 


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#7 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

You know, if someone posted that a friend who was fine financially had passed along used things to her,saying that she didn't want them back, and the poster who was given the things had used them but now wanted to sell them to buy something else her child needed, most of us would think it was OK.

 

Wouldn't we?
 

 Yes, absolutely.   And if someone asked me if I wanted stuff back or if they'd mind if I sold it I'd tell them to do whatever they wanted, it belonged to them now.

 

I guess that's why I need to talk this out because I KNOW I shouldn't be annoyed. I don't even understand WHY I'm annoyed.  

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#8 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 10:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by momasana View Post
 I KNOW I shouldn't be annoyed. I don't even understand WHY I'm annoyed.  

I know. I'd feel annoyed if someone sold stuff I gave them and bought something I deemed frivolous. But how judgmental of me! Maybe manicures are really fulfilling to other people in a way I'll never understand. Maybe they are like a beautifully glazed, well thrown mug is to me. Except temporary. And useless. duck.gif


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#9 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 11:36 AM
 
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In general, my family wears clothes down to where they're not fit for donation or sale. We have donated a fair bit of infant/toddler clothing, though - nature of baby clothes, I guess. I've only ever directly handed down a very few things, because of where my kids fit into my circle of friends and family. Some of ds1's stuff went to my oldest nephew, but that's about it.

 

I don't sell things much, but it's mostly because I don't want to be bothered with the hassle. I can just dump things in a donation bin, and they're gone. If I did sell stuff, I'd probably sell hand me downs without even thinking about it. (I won't take things that someone wants back, as I worry too much about keeping them in good shape.) I appreciate the hand me downs, but once I have clothes for the kids, I don't really think about whether I bought them, someone else bought them, or they were hand me downs. They're just part of the stock.

 

I don't know how I'd feel if someone sold something I'd handed down to them, but I don't think it would bother me. OTOH, the details may count. Did she sell the diapers right after you gave them to her, or did she use them first? Things like that make a difference, imo.


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#10 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 02:24 PM
 
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This is how I see it......I give mom stuff away rather than sell not because im well off, but because i want to support the parenting community culture that I have been richly blessed by. When I give I am assuming the recipient values that culture too.

Therefore, if you are a person who prefers to sell stuff, I would prefer you decline the free things I offer you, or offer to pay me a small amount if you plan on selling them later.

That said, I usually give to friends in a similar financial place as myself. If I gave to someone who was destitute I would probably understand if they used then resold the items to buy much-needed things for their child.

I guess now I know how to communicate better to prevent hurt feelings in the future! smile.gif

I did once see a nasty tearfilled fight at a mom to mom sale because a shopper mom caught a seller mom selling a bunch of stuff the first mom had given her and confronted her loudly. So embarrasing....i would not want to be on the recieving end of that!
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#11 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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I too find it slightly "off" for no good reason I can articulate.

 

I kinda admire anyone who has the oomph to sell used clothes, though. Part of the reason I donate - even good stuff that I could get a few dollars for - is that the thought of hunting up the camera, listing the clothes, putting them online, dealing with the pickup and so on gives me a cold sweat. Who can be bothered? (A lot of people, I guess - SIL buys nearly all her clothes online, second-hand. But not me.)

 

Round our circle of friends, clothes go round and round. I see kids at church wearing stuff DD used to wear... sometimes stuff I used to wear. It's neat. Selling them interrupts that cycle. Maybe that's why it bugs me.

 

Also, I make most of my kids' clothes now. I haven't yet dealt with the lending issue, but I'd probably only lend them if I thought I'd likely get them back in reasonable condition, and I would certainly stipulate (if I thought it was necessary) that the borrower not sell them. A lot of love and effort went into those things!

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#12 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 03:13 PM
 
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It wouldn't bother me, but very little ever bothers me :)  If I give something away I no longer care what happens to it.  If I were to loan something I expected back I would care if they sold it.  

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#13 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 11:15 PM
 
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I would probably be annoyed too, most likely because I'd be sorry I was too lazy to sell them myself. wink1.gif
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#14 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 11:20 PM
 
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I wouldn't be bothered at all. I gave it away, it is theirs to do what they want with it.


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#15 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 04:33 AM
 
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interesting discussion .... i get the point & was right in the middle of this type of dilemna ....

 

our neightbor in the flat on the same landing moved away about 3 months ago, they were pushed for time & we ended up un-expectedly helping them (DD1 and DS and I) up and down the 3 flight of stairs on about 20 trips each carrying small stuff to their car for about 1H30 minutes or so ...

& also lent them a ladder, let them plug their vaccum cleaner in our flat with an extention cord when the electricity company cut out their supply too early (they asked to be connected at the new place NOT to be cut out  since they had wanted an overlap but were cut out at the same time), that sort of thing (we were used to ask or give an egg, some chocolate or flour when one of us was out of stock, or bake for each other ....)

 

now, they didn't want to move their one year old dryier which they had kept on their balcony & insisted on giving it to me as a "thank you"

i don't have much space indoor for a dryier, am used to my folding clothes drier, was sure my DH would not have the skill-time-willingness to alter the french door to get an electric cable out etc .......

it was all last minute and rushed so i said yes to the dryer and 2 other items (one of them i gave away later)

.... but i advertised on a local expat difusion list & sold the drier for 50 euros the next week end

AND NOW, am embarassed in case i meet up with my neighbor again (she sometimes comes shopping in our neighborhood supermarket ....) ... what if she asks me if the drier is working all right ?????

maybe i should give her 25 euros ?

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#16 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 05:14 AM
 
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Nah, that's fine. You can just say dh didn't want to install it so you found it a new home. Dealing with bulky things for people moving under a time crunch is doing them a favor.

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#17 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 06:45 AM
 
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thanks for the idea, i didn't think of that

"DH didn't want to install it"

(it's true he wouldn't have done it ... though i didn't even ask him to !!!)

i'll feel more peaceful now, thanks again !

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#18 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 09:08 AM
 
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I too find it slightly "off" for no good reason I can articulate.

 

 

Me too.  I gave a great deal of high value things to a mother I know only casually.  She is several years younger than me and her kids are younger than our son so it really worked out that when our son outgrew his carseats, winter boots, coats, Keens, etc., hers were ready for them.  I later learned she profited nicely from yard selling them immediately. The items bypassed the intended users, her children. 

 

I gave them with no strings attached and rationally, I know that she was 100% free to do with the items whatever she wished but it bothered me anyway.  Had I known ahead of time, I would have given the items to a local women and children's aid association.  She has hinted several times over the past two years about be open to more hand me downs but I let it slide without comment.

 

Lesson learned.  When I pass things on now, I say straight out "if you aren't going to use it, don't take it because I can give it to XYZ organization that is always in need." 


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#19 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 09:45 AM
 
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I think there's a defiance of intention when people sell stuff you give them. Having been your kid's stuff, it kind of gets personal. Seeing a friend use the stuff kind if extends the "life" that the stuff has in your memory. When the recipient sells the stuff, they ignore the personal nature of the gift and the fact that you specifically thought they would like it and be glad to use it. I know I often pass stuff down that I WOULD otherwise sell myself. If has value to me, and that value is honored by my friend's use of it. That's my take on it, anyway.
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#20 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 10:01 AM
 
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I think it's reasonable for both parties to set up expectations before an exchange occurs. For example, I always ask the giver if they want the item(s) back before accepting hand-me-downs, and if they say yes, I'll usually pass. If it's something large and obvious like a baby swing I'll accept it, knowing that I can remember who gave it to me and that I can probably take reasonably good care of it while it's in my possession. But clothing? Unless it's a snowsuit or something unusual like that, there's just no way that I want to deal with worrying about ruining those particular clothing items and remembering who gave them to us.

The flip side of that would be for the giver to make sure that the items will be used by the family they're being given to, which I think is okay. I do think selling something immediately, before using it for your kids, crosses the line. But ... I don't know, to say, "So I don't want this back, and I'm glad you're using it for your kids. But in 2+ years, when your kid is done with it, is there a likelihood that you might sell it along with all the other baby stuff you're getting rid of? Because if so then I'm not giving it to you" seems a bit much. Again, it's asking the recipient to keep track of it and treat it specially, just as if you were asking for it back. Once it becomes enmeshed with all their stuff, it's theirs, and they should be able to pass it along in whatever manner they do with all their other stuff.

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#21 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 10:17 AM
 
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I think it's reasonable for both parties to set up expectations before an exchange occurs. For example, I always ask the giver if they want the item(s) back before accepting hand-me-downs, and if they say yes, I'll usually pass. If it's something large and obvious like a baby swing I'll accept it, knowing that I can remember who gave it to me and that I can probably take reasonably good care of it while it's in my possession. But clothing? Unless it's a snowsuit or something unusual like that, there's just no way that I want to deal with worrying about ruining those particular clothing items and remembering who gave them to us.

The flip side of that would be for the giver to make sure that the items will be used by the family they're being given to, which I think is okay. I do think selling something immediately, before using it for your kids, crosses the line. But ... I don't know, to say, "So I don't want this back, and I'm glad you're using it for your kids. But in 2+ years, when your kid is done with it, is there a likelihood that you might sell it along with all the other baby stuff you're getting rid of? Because if so then I'm not giving it to you" seems a bit much. Again, it's asking the recipient to keep track of it and treat it specially, just as if you were asking for it back. Once it becomes enmeshed with all their stuff, it's theirs, and they should be able to pass it along in whatever manner they do with all their other stuff.

This is true. Thats why, if you are a person who prefers to sell stuff when done, you might want to say so if you choose to accept free stuff, and offer to pay them for it. Why should they give when that person doesnt do the same for others? Id hate to think im a charity case to them. And if you cant remember it was given to you then you probably could have afforded to pay for it. Im so grateful for the cost savings that I easily remember the givers.

Obviously, Im referring to stuff like tons of clothes or bigger ticket baby/kid items; if i give you a few t-shirts that you eventually sell at a garage sale thats understandable. And if you paid for anything, absolutely resell it.
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#22 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 10:34 AM
 
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This is true. Thats why, if you are a person who prefers to sell stuff when done, you might want to say so if you choose to accept free stuff, and offer to pay them for it. Why should they give to you when you dont do the same for others? And if you cant remember it was given to you then you probably could have afforded to pay for it. Im so grateful for the cost savings that I easily remember the givers.

Obviously, Im referring to stuff like tons of clothes or bigger ticket baby/kid items; if i give you a few t-shirts that you eventually sell at a garage sale thats understandable. And if you paid for anything, absolutely resell it.

Not sure if, when you say "you," you mean me or the general you, but for the record I don't sell stuff, I pass it along to friends or donate it. I just don't care what my friends do with the stuff I give them -- if they sell something that once belonged to me, I don't see it as them not extending the same courtesy that I extended to them, or whatever. And I have a good memory for that stuff and typically do remember who gives us even stuff like random t-shirts, but I don't perceive it as a slight if someone else doesn't remember those kinds of things.

I don't know, I don't really think about the stuff I give away after it's out of my house. I give it away so that I don't have to deal with storing it anymore -- it's a relief to have it gone, and a bonus that a friend gets some use out of it. Beyond that, I just don't have an emotional investment in what happens to it.

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#23 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 11:15 AM
 
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 Yes, absolutely.   And if someone asked me if I wanted stuff back or if they'd mind if I sold it I'd tell them to do whatever they wanted, it belonged to them now.

 

I guess that's why I need to talk this out because I KNOW I shouldn't be annoyed. I don't even understand WHY I'm annoyed.  

 

It bothers me too, also with the feeling that it shouldn't, and I think it is somewhat commonplace.  It's kind of like when I have something nice to give away on freecycle, I want to make sure that it will go to the person who actually needs the item in question, rather than the opportunist who is looking for an item to make money on. Usually I'm trying to decide whether I want to sell it, but I feel that giving it away is more helpful.  I understand the goal is to keep things out of landfills, but I think I want to think I'm cutting out the middle man in providing someone in need with something, and I can never be sure that I am unless I wait for someone to make a request.  That is how I've gotten rid of things in the past, actually.

 

I think there can be a fundamental difference in attitudes, which is part of the problem.  Some people would never give anything away, and would always feel an obligation to make money off of a transaction even between friends, whereas some would be the exact opposite and would feel wrong making money between friends.n My ex-BIL was like this, but I think it was almost a cultural thing, but it can create feelings of distrust if you have a different value system.  We both collected interesting coins, and I gave him some once, and then in return, when I wanted some he had found, he would only sell them to me at a hefty profit.  He thought it was foolish of me to have given him half of my coins without trying to make money on the deal.  When I see people attempting to sell hand-me-downs that have been used for a number of children, I get some of the same feeling, that they must feel that they can't ever give anything away, that they are obligated to make money on it because not to do so would be foolish.  And this translates into other aspects of how we treat others in how we spend money.  I realize I'm reading way too much into this, but I think this speaks to why there can be a level of discomfort.  But I also agree with what the others have said before, about extending the memories and understanding the personal nature of the gift.  I think there is room for a happy medium, because I don't think we have to give everything away, and sometimes I'm going to want to make money on something, and don't want to feel like I have to give something away.

 

I once saw someone selling all her children's stuff, including a co-sleeper I had given her.  But I was pleased to note that when she got to the co-sleeper, she acknowledged it had been a gift to her and she wanted it to be a gift to someone else.  So she was going to give that away. Even though she would have been within her rights to sell it, even on a list I was a part of, of course I felt happy to see she was going to gift it rather than sell it.  

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#24 of 30 Old 06-28-2013, 01:57 PM
 
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It's funny that this has come up because I was thinking about this the other day too.  I have gotten a lot of clothes from a friend of mine who buys really nice things and shows up on a fairly regular basis with a big bag when I see her, completely by surprise.  The cheap side of me (thrifty? - naw, just cheap) like a little devil on my shoulder says "oooh, you should sell that" because honestly, some of the clothes are too nice for my rough and tumble boy to even care about wearing.  He hates collars and sweaters.  But mostly I believe in karma, despite an absolute lack of belief in anything else in that vein, and it seems like whenever *I* need something, someone almost always is there to provide it.  This pregnancy has been a perfect illustration of that - I had gotten rid of a lot of my baby things, including the big ticket items, because I thought at the time we were done.  When we weren't done after all, lo and behold, the crib was dropped off by one friend, the mattress by another (who I had given clothes to in the past), the cloth diapers from another...and so on.  I have enough little girl clothes to have twins.  Lol...  

 

So, as a result, I just pass it on when I can in hopes that my good luck continues.  :)  


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#25 of 30 Old 06-30-2013, 01:45 PM
 
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I personally would not sell something that had been a hand me down, I would give it to someone else.  If it is a big ticket item (ie car seats, baby carriers etc) I offer them bac or ask if they want them back.  When I give away hand me downs, I will ask for them back if I want them, or ask them to pass them on to someone else if I do not.  We have a maternity clothes co-op group where we pass clothes back and forth.  If it something very important, you keep it, otherwise it goes into the tub.  I relinquished everything I had when I got my tubal, but asked my friend (the keeper of the tub) to let me use it when my lil sis got preggers.  Well, we found out later that one of the moms (who had just had her 3rd) did not return 2/3rds of the clothes from the tub before she moved.  Since my little sis is in the same city she is in, I called her and asked if my sis could come pick up the rest of the clothes, only to find out she had sold them all at a garage sale.  Needless to say we were all upset, and she got cut out of the hand me down list.


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#26 of 30 Old 06-30-2013, 03:44 PM
 
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I used to give my friend with a boy dd's "boy" clothes and sell the rest so I understand selling clothes. I have no idea what happened to the clothes I gave away. Once an item is out of my house it isn't my problem anymore.
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#27 of 30 Old 06-30-2013, 07:01 PM
 
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As it turns out, I'm not really cut out for handing things off to people I know, where I will see the items again.  For a whole pile of reasons, we will no be having any more babies.  Giving up my daughter's things is an admission of that (I am just self-aware enough to get it).  Emotionally, every drop off to GoodWill is hard.  I am not kidding when is say I cry through every closet purge (yes, I'm crazy).  I thought it would be easier to "release" those things to friends and nieces, but it is not.  Every time I saw a niece playing in the mud in my carefully researched, selected, and maintained shoes or found out someone had sold them my baby's Easter dress at consignment, it just pissed me off.  I KNOW once you give something away, it's gone. You don't get to decide what happens to it because it's not yours anymore.  It's just a lot easier for me to give things away to GoodWill and never see them again or send them off to a shelter or something.  I can't hoard them forever, they're doing me no good but there but seeing someone else so careless with things I treasure so greatly because I am only having ONE child...it was hard.

 

I have seen lots of these threads pop up over the years and they usually go like this:

 

Someone gave me a huge box of X.  I am never going to use X but I can sell it.  Is that ok?

SURE!  Why not!  The giver obviously was done with those things, so you can do what you want with them!

 

OR

 

Last month I gave my SIL/BFF/neighbor a huge box of X.  I just found out she sold them at a yard sale/on ebay/threw them out.  Can you believe it!

OMG!  Who does that!  Never give her anything again!

 

And at the time, both sides seem totally reasonable to me. 

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#28 of 30 Old 06-30-2013, 08:12 PM
 
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I wouldn't care myself...I am in the mindset that if I "give" something to someone it is theirs...I am not going to lend something out that I want back because I might not get it back in the condition I need it in...I give stuff away all the time that my 5 year old L had grown out of..But when someone offers something I ask...Do you want it back...if they say yes I say thanks for offering but no thanks...I have in the past had emergency yard sales or sell stuff on Ebay if I need $$ to help with a bill...It would never occur to me to call someone up and say is it ok to sell the outfit you gave me last year that she can no longer wear that you said you didn't want back...LOL

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#29 of 30 Old 06-30-2013, 09:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by myra1 View Post

That has happened to me too and it bugs me...i dont think it is okay at all. I would not give her anything in he future. We have been given many handmedowns and always always regive them, never sell.

I agree. Pass it forward or donate it to others. Selling things given to you seems "wrong" somehow. I would only do that if I were "very hard up" for some cash.
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#30 of 30 Old 06-30-2013, 09:37 PM
 
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I did something similar thing. I wouldn't normally sell a lot online but I just lost my job and I am getting rid of everything as our third and last kid goes through stuff. I've saved *everything* from three kids and I am giving ebay a spin. I just sold an old fairly ratty ergo (disclosed) on ebay and I know very well a friend gave it to me. But it was four years ago, not in good condition, and I put a really low price on it thinking a mama in need could pick it up pretty cheaply. It had a torn sleeping hood so I didn't think it would find a home through donation. And then it sold for $65!

 

Frankly, I am too embarrassed to call someone I haven't spoken to for two years to tell them I sold their ergo from four years ago they gave me because I lost my job and am feeling cheap. 

 

Maybe this is all about intent? I would be aggrieved if I gave someone something and they turned around and sold it. And I've borrowed diapers and sold them for someone and send the money back to her. 

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